Cox & Kings, one of the world’s oldest and well-known travel brands has now acquired a hotel booking website LateRooms, which was open for sale since May. The financial terms of the deal has not been disclosed.
The hotel booking specialist in the UK, LateRooms claims to have 150,000 properties around the world on its portfolio, with more than 3.5 million users. In 2006, First Choice acquired LateRooms for $184.34 million and the following year First Choice was merged to form TUI Travel. With more than 93 million online visits in the financial year ending September 30,2015, the company generated transaction volume of GBP 300 million. The company also owns various brands and domain names including AsiaRooms.com.
Early this year, TUI group had put LateRooms up for sale to focus on its core operations, after facing tough competition from the likes of Booking.com and Expedia in the recent times. Travel specialists say that this deal will strengthen Cox & Kings’ presence in Europe further. Chetan Kapoor, research analyst for Asia-Pacific at Phocuswright, a travel market research firm said,” They (Cox & Kings) would get one of the oldest online brand under their kitty. They would get hold of inventory, existing hotel contacts and rates which can be used to expand their B2B and B2C services.”
The India-based Cox & Kings is expected to control LateRooms’ mobile phone-led technology platform more widely and plans to strengthen the group’s delivery capabilities across the length and breadth for leisure business with the online technology platform. Peter Kerkar, director, Cox and Kings said, “We are confident that bringing the LateRooms brand and technology into the fold will provide a significant boost to Cox and Kings’ growth trajectory and technology capabilities.”
Cox & Kings has presence in holidays and education travel segment with operations in 22 countries in four continents. With the help of subsidiaries in UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, USA, the Netherlands, Singapore and Canada, the company operates outside India. The company owns German hotel arm Meininger Shared Services and also Holidaybreak, an education and activity travel group based in UK.